A Mission to Fix a Growing Problem
Out of the 20 million students that will begin college this year, only 4 million will graduate in four years. Based on a recent New York Times article, most public Universities graduate only 19% of their students on time. This is part of a growing problem in American higher education. Not only are students staying longer and paying longer, some run the risk of not graduating at all. With a national average cost of tuition and college living expenses somewhere around $11,000 a semester, being late to your own graduation is an expensive problem.
There are many reasons why these students aren’t graduating on time. Some may have had to re-take classes because theirs didn’t transfer, while others may have decided late in the game to change majors. Still, a glaring reason is that incoming freshmen were never prepared properly for the changes ahead; changes they have to face while living away from home on their own.
A+ Students Struggle Too
You might not expect it but a large percentage of the students failing their first semester were A-students in high school. Some of the most common challenges these students face are that they never learned how to study or how to overcome a challenge. Some of the top students in their high school class didn’t have to work too hard to be there. Either they were graded on a curve or they just knew how to play the system in high school. Now in college, these same students find out that what made them successful in high school just won’t work anymore, and nobody prepared them.
Students that fall into this category are more likely to experience anxiety about their perceived failure and tend to show a more apathetic attitude towards school because it’s easier to accept failing if they never tried. They lack direction because they’re afraid to move forward and fail.
High Schools Aren’t Preparing Students
Although there is a great amount of good intention in our high schools, a teacher’s responsibilities are geared towards tests and AP exams rather than being able to focus on lifelong success skills and strategies for college. So many teachers are still forced to teach to a standardized test because of the way school accountability is structured. Students inherently learn formulas for writing essays, regurgitating facts, and how to eliminate answers on multiple choice questions. Many families pay upwards of $1,200 so their students can learn a skill set that’s relevant for three hours of their life.
In college, there is no 5-paragraph format. Few tests are actually multiple choice. Professors emphasize critical thinking, logic, and addressing counterpoints to a thesis rather than repeating facts. The same skills that prepared high school students for the SATs aren’t doing them much good anymore.
What Are We Doing About It?
At College Conquerors, we understand that the dynamics of high school simply do not reflect the realities of college life. All students struggle with the change at some level. Students get to college and feel tremendous pressure to do well while supposedly having the best years of their lives. The challenge for students isn’t just academic—it’s social.
Our mission is to fill the gaps in a student’s education by teaching and discussing critical skills like time management, conflict resolution, budgeting, and the different social and academic expectations in college. We prepare students to face a less structured routine where they don’t go from class to class every day. Instead of spending six hours in school with three hours of homework a night, students learn that they will spend more time learning outside of class than in it.
By teaching these skill sets and making students aware of potentially unsettling changes they’ll experience, we are giving students lifelong skills that will take them firmly to graduation and beyond.